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Something I read recently on the science of teamwork

In today’s healthcare environment, interdisciplinary teamwork IS essential. However, often the driving process of collaboration, and as well as the teams overall diversity, creates a failure to thrive – often stagnating, sometimes buckling under the weight of internal conflict, or sometimes from external influential sources. This failure to thrive is not anyones fault, however, there is a need to understand what we are all to achieve and in doing so, know each team members goal and understand their role within the team. Find the gaps that allow problems to slip through the net. Filling these gaps will allow for greater cohesion within the team, allowing it to succeed.

Understanding the Styles

Each of us is a composite of four work styles, though most people’s behavior and thinking are closely aligned with one or two. All the styles bring useful perspectives and distinctive approaches to generating ideas, making decisions, and solving problems. Generally speaking:

Pioneers value possibilities, and they spark energy and imagination on their teams. They believe risks are worth taking and that it’s fine to go with your gut. Their focus is big-picture. They’re drawn to bold new ideas and creative approaches.

Guardians value stability, and they bring order and rigor. They’re pragmatic, and they hesitate to embrace risk. Data and facts are baseline requirements for them, and details matter. Guardians think it makes sense to learn from the past.

Drivers value challenge and generate momentum. Getting results and winning count most. Drivers tend to view issues as black-and-white and tackle problems head on, armed with logic and data.

Integrators value connection and draw teams together. Relationships and responsibility to the group are paramount. Integrators tend to believe that most things are relative. They’re diplomatic and focused on gaining consensus.

The four styles give teams a common language for understanding how people work.

Knowing how each team member in your team and looking for these traits in them will be an important consideration when creating or implementing teamwork process within an organization. Use it to the teams advantage, as it will give great all-round perspectives.

The difference between success and failure is a great team.

“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.”  – Andrew Carnegie

How to be an inspiring leader..

apr17-25-15843859-1200x675A great article in HBR last week, focusing on how to be engaged AND inspirational.

Drawing insight from Eastern philosophy, someone once said, “If you want to change the way of being, you have to change the way of doing.”

Leaders can only change by doing things differently. The more often they behave in a new way, the sooner they become a new type of leader, an inspirational leader.

Go on, go out and be that leader..

New clinical evidence for the use of PICCs in pregnancy.

A new retrospective case series was performed that included all pregnant and postpartum women who received peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) at a single institution between 2006 and 2014.

Similar outcomes rates were reported to non-pregnant women populations.

Safety of peripherally inserted central catheters during pregnancy: a retrospective studyLaura Jacques, Megan Foeller, Rahmouna Farez, Kristina Kaljo, Melodee Nugent, Pippa Simpson & Timothy Klatt

The Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine

Received 06 Jan 2017, Accepted 22 Mar 2017, Published online: 16 Apr 2017

Fluoroquinolones Are Too Risky for Common Infections

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is advising against prescribing fluoroquinolones, a group of antibiotics that includes drugs such as Cipro and Levaquin, to treat three common illnesses —bronchitis, sinus infections, and urinary tract infections. 

The agency issued the new recommendations after a safety review revealed that fluoroquinolones can cause disabling and potentially permanent side effects that affect the tendons, muscles, joints, nerves, and central nervous system.

The new FDA ruling calling for restricted use of fluoroquinolones affects five prescription antibiotics: ciprofloxacin (Cipro), levofloxacin (Levaquin), moxifloxacin (Avelox), ofloxacin (Floxin), and gemifloxacin (Factive). All are also available as generics.

Read more here;

Why we need to be familiar with our specialty evidence; read regularly.

I just got off the phone with a colleague from North Carolina. I always enjoy his phone conversations. We had a robust discussion about many issues relating to vascular access, but one of the common threads of our conversation was the lack of self-education and keeping up to date in our specialty field. Despite having large professional bodies specifically educating to vascular access and infusion therapy, with organization such as AVA and INS, we still see clinicians who are unaware of the current evidence, and the standards of practice, within their specialty field.

Really? How can this be? I have seen for a fact that this is commonplace; I was speaking at a local chapter in Colorado last month and asked the room ‘who has read the new (2016) standards of practice (SOP)’. Probably 6-8 hands that went up in a room of ~25-30 people. So I prompted them again with another question; ‘of those who have read the SOP, how many had aligned their hospital policies with the new SOP to ensure they were practicing within the recommendations of the standards?’ Maybe 1 or 2 put their hands up. Wow! I was a little taken aback, as these clinicians are the forefront of vascular access and infusion therapy practice, many with credentialing letters after their names, and yet they are unaware or not reading the developing evidence that guides their clinical practices within their facilities and institutions.

Guidelines, recommendations and standards of practice all have differing cause and effects; and meaning. Car companies can make a recommendation that you use oil in your car, but if you chose not to do so, then your car will eventually stop functioning for a number of obvious reasons. Guidelines are similar; they guide clinicians in clinical practice through evidence and assisting them to make appropriate decisions based upon a certain level of evidence. Standards of practice is what we practice to that is also guided by regulation and peer-reviewed evidence. A standard is also something we held accountable for in a court of law. This is where this such a differing between the 3. Not to say a guideline isn’t peer-reviewed, but it’s looked upon in a slightly different manner. But the SOP, which is the go-to reference for those working in infusion therapy or vascular access, rely on this document to make appropriate clinical recommendations and decision-making process based upon the various levels of evidence and be held accountable in our actions for following these standards.

Standards are also put in place to reduce harm to patients. With todays ever increasing scrutiny of adverse events, patient satisfaction and quality improvement, we have to ensure that our clinicians are made aware and educated on changes that effect them while they are performing their roles and providing healthcare.

Why do we care about this? Because what we do has significant impact on our patient outcomes and we are judged on what and how we perform. Pleading ignorance to the evidence and standards will not support you in a court of law, even if you are deemed a competent clinician.

So, what is the importance of EBM and EBP? How does this relate to my clinical practices? Effective performance is a requirement to provide a standard of care. It will NOT stop you from getting sued… BUT should improve the quality of care clinicians provide and should decrease the chance of litigation (however, not guaranteed).

Read folks – this is the reason why we need to maintain our ongoing learning; to improve ourselves, and others, in our professional working world. We need it, our patients need it, our institutions need it. Better knowledge is better decision-making and performance, which in turn has better outcomes – for everyone.

And here is a great article from Harvard Business Review on mentoring;